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Condition Of Park City Child Care Teacher Improving Quickly After Accident

Erin Ellis

A week after an accident put her in the hospital, Park City resident and day care teacher Janis Byler is making leaps and bounds in her recovery. 

After their kids, Sebastian, Chad and Erin, moved to Park City more than five years ago, Janis Byler and her husband, Jim, followed them out west, from their home state of Ohio.

Byler’s daughter, Erin Ellis, is a teacher at Little Miners Montessori School in Park City. Ellis says when her mom moved to Park City, she started working at Park City Mountain Resort’s ski school—she’s done that for the past four or five seasons. Byler has held many jobs since moving to Utah, including working at the outlet mall and the Canyons kid center. Since the start of the school year, Byler has worked with four-year-olds at the Park City School District Child Care Center. Ellis says Byler loves to meet new people.

“She just loves people," Ellis said. "She is the friendliest, most caring to strangers, to friends, to anybody.”

Byler is also a huge advocate of the Park City Transit system. Ellis says Byler’s father died in a car accident when she was young, though she’s not sure if that’s why Byler gravitates toward the bus or if she’s just not comfortable driving. Either way, Byler takes the bus daily.

"When they moved to Park City, she was in love with the bus system," Ellis said. "Getting to know the bus drivers; talking to people on the bus; meeting people; being able to get around all by herself. She would take the bus to all her various jobs, and she thoroughly enjoyed every moment of that."

In her off time, Byler volunteers with the Peace House. But more than anything, Ellis says Byler loves spending time with family. She has three grandchildren, and Ellis says Byler likes to plan activities for the family.

“Just the weekend before, she got the family to go down to Lava Hot Springs for a trip with the grandkids and kids," Ellis said. "She just always has these, hey let’s go do this, hey let’s go do this, and so she makes up our weekend plans sometimes, when she’s not recuperating from teaching all week.”

The morning of Jan. 23, Byler was struck by a car in the crosswalk on her way to work. Since then, Byler has had two surgeries. She doesn’t have use of the right side of her body, but she communicates with her left hand and is starting to talk again. Byler is breathing on her own and was recently moved from the intensive care unit to a recovery floor. By all accounts, Ellis says her mother is surpassing doctors’ expectations. Byler’s husband, Jim, says his life—and his wife’s—are driven by faith. He thanks the community for all the prayers for her recovery.

“I know that a big determination of her strength and the community support and love and the prayers is really getting us and getting her to where she’s at today, in such an extremely short amount of time," Jim said.

Family and friends can find updates on Byler’s condition at CaringBridge.org. A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover her medical expenses.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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